Syrian refugees to return home when they see hope for improvement - Assad
Syrian refugees will begin returning home when they see hope for improvement, Syrian President Bashar Assad told international news agency Sputnik.
"We've started infrastructure reconstruction work before the crisis is over, to soften, as much as possible, the influence of economic losses and infrastructure damage on the Syrian people and at the same time reduce the migration flow out of the country," Assad said.
"Maybe some will want to return when they see that there is hope for the amelioration of the situation," he added.
Syria has been suffering from an armed conflict since March 2011, which, according to the UN, has so far claimed the lives of over 220,000 people. Militants from various armed groups are confronting the Syrian government troops.
The "Islamic State" (IS, aka ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) and Jabhat al-Nusra are the most active terrorist groups in Syria.
The president noted that the cause of migration is not only terrorism and the security situation, but also the blockade and Western sanctions introduced against Syria.
"Many people have left safe areas where there is no terrorism because of the life conditions," he stated. "Citizens can no longer provide themselves with all that is necessary. So we, as a state, must take steps, at least the most basic ones, to improve the economic situation and the service sector in Syria. That's what we are currently doing in terms of reconstruction."